Tupperware might be the latest meme stock after more than tripling in value within a week.
The troubled food storage brand is battling sliding sales and a $700 million debt mountain.
But redditors on popular trading groups are bigging up the stock and boasting about their stakes.
Tupperware is in trouble. Mired in debt, fighting sliding sales, and a share price in freefall, the brand established by Earl Tupper in 1946 looks to be on its last legs.
However, it seems a few investors didn’t get the memo.
Shares in the embattled food container maker more than tripled since July 20 to just over $3, leaving many to wonder whether it might be the latest “meme stock.”
According to data from Marketwatch, 27% of Tupperware shares that are available to trade have been “shorted” by investors.
But some speculators who borrowed shares expecting them to fall further have now been caught out by the surge. That’s forced some to buy more shares to reduce their losses, sending the price even higher.
The amount of short interest in Tupperware has indeed fallen more than a quarter this year amid apparent interest from retail investors.
There were rumblings last week that Tupperware might be attracting more interest from retail investors, after its stock initially began moving following a report in the Orlando Business Journal about an investment from BlackRock.
On July 21, when Tupperware shares were worth 90 cents, a member of the subreddit r/pennystocks, which has 1.9 million members, argued in favor of the stock’s “incredible upside potential.”
The user, who claimed to own 2,000 shares in Tupperware, said that in a high inflationary environment, households were likely to buy more food storage containers as a means of reducing their spending.
In recent years, “short squeezes” for low-value stocks have rarely been driven by the company’s actual financial performance, which is usually why they’re close to worthless in the first place.
Indeed, Neil Saunders, managing director of retail for the GlobalData consultancy, told Insider the surge was “not based on anything rational or certain.” He added that the report in the Orlando Business Journal didn’t seem to be based on new information.
“However, as we know from companies like Bed Bath & Beyond, share prices can sometimes be based on irrational sentiment or unfounded rumors,” Saunders said.
“The point remains that none of Tupperware’s difficulties have disappeared and the company is still in a very challenging position.”
That “challenging position” would refer to an 18% fall in sales last year, and debt of more than $700 million that dwarfs even its newly inflated valuation of $137 million. Shares have sunk by 91% over the past five years.
Still, it appears some retail investors are believing the Tupperware hype.
On r/pennystocks, members were boasting about their apparent stakes in the company and the potential profits they hope to bank.
One user wrote: “I’ve made $1500 profits in one hour with this crap with only $2500 invested. Swing trade is the best option for this one!”
On r/WallStreetBets, the birthplace of the meme stock craze, members were giddily comparing the stock to Bed Bath & Beyond, the now-bankrupt homeware chain that had captivated certain investors since 2021.
Whether Tupperware goes the same way as Bed Bath and Beyond, which soared in value before giving up those gains very quickly, is unclear. But the playbook now appears very familiar.
Read the original article on Business Insider